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Dutch essential for both local and international employers27 February 2013, by Mark McDaid
A study by the Maastricht University Language Centre has shown that both the English and Dutch language are important for local and international employers in the Netherlands.
The study, conducted among 60 employers in both the private and social sector, was done to investigate the importance of language skills for the employment of young university graduates looking for a job.
Sixty percent of the employers interviewed said that language skills influence their selection of an employee, but there was a wide range of importance attributed to the skills between the surveyed employment sectors.
Despite these variations, 79 percent of the employers said that it was a must for potential workers to speak Dutch, while only 10 percent of the employers require applicants to speak English alone. Almost half of the companies stated that competency in both English and Dutch was essential.
A third language (such as French or German) was seen as important for 5 percent of the employers, and language skills were also seen to be an indicator of other attributes, such as intelligence and appreciation of other cultures.
Photo by Flickr user Victor1558
Though the employment market in the Netherlands has a distinctly international flavour, the study serves to drive home the importance of an ability to communicate in the local language, even when working for an international company.